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Midshipman who was killed in crash is mourned...Obama pays tribute to Marines in chopper crash...Romney to rumble



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HEWLETT, N.Y. (AP) — The commanding officer of a U.S. Naval Academy midshipman killed in this week's Amtrak derailment says he was "a phenomenal young man." Capt. Brandy Soublet says Justin Zemser "just had this quiet strength about him." Soublet spoke today outside a chapel in suburban New York, where Zemser's funeral was taking place. The 20-year-old sophomore was traveling from the academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to his home in New York City when he was killed in Tuesday's derailment in Philadelphia. He was one of eight people killed.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is expressing condolences to the families of six Marines and two Nepalese army soldiers who were in a helicopter that crashed during a relief mission in an earthquake-ravaged region of Nepal. Rescuers today found three bodies near the wreckage of the Marine helicopter. It had disappeared earlier this week, and officials said it was unlikely there were any survivors from the crash. Obama says the Marines were demonstrating that "when our friends are in need, America helps."

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has passed a nearly $612 billion defense policy bill despite a veto threat by President Barack Obama. Democrats oppose it because they say it paves the way to cutting domestic programs later this year. A bipartisan budget deal from four years ago placed caps on defense and domestic spending. The defense bill gets around those limits by putting $89 billion into an emergency war-fighting fund that is exempt. Democrats predict that Republicans won't take similar steps to protect domestic programs.

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Polish government is paying a quarter of a million dollars to two terror suspects who were allegedly tortured by the CIA in a secret facility in Poland. And that is prompting outrage among many Poles who feel they are being punished for American wrongdoing. The European Court of Human Rights ruled last July that Poland had violated the rights of the two suspects. The money won't actually go straight to the two men -- since both have been held for years at Guantanamo Bay with almost no contact with the outside world. The lawyer for one of the men says he wants the money to go to a group that helps war victims.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — He's not getting back into the political ring, but Mitt Romney will be in the boxing ring tonight. The former Republican presidential candidate will meet five-time heavyweight boxing champ Evander Holyfield at a charity fight-night event in Salt Lake City. In full protective gear, Romney and Holyfield will do some light-hearted sparring before the night's three real fights by professional boxers. Money will go toward a group that helps doctors in developing countries restore people's vision.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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